Issue 1

Guest column UCAS’s top tips for applying to uni
The new academic year has rolled around already, and it’s time for students to start filling in their UCAS application forms for university entry in 2016. Here’s a few simple tips from UCAS to help your students on their application journey.

UCAS logo


UCAS are the official online admissions service for UK universities and colleges – they are a non-profit organisation and have registered charity status. UCAS works on behalf of the universities, connecting people to higher education. They process undergraduate applications to full-time courses at UK universities and colleges and some other European countries, and provide a central source of information and advice on higher education.

  1. It’s all about the research! Before they think about writing their personal statement students need to have looked into what and where they want to study. Remind them to look into the details of the courses they’re applying for, but also to think about where they’d like to live.
  2. They have five choices. Get them to choose their choices wisely. Have a mix of aspirational choices and safe bets, but remind them not to waste their time by putting in options they’ll either never realistically get into or they have no intention of going to. An insurance option is only any good if they’re actually willing to go to the university and study the course.
  3. The personal statement. Ask most teenagers applying to university what they worry about the most and they’ll tell you it’s the personal statement. They only write one for all five choices so it needs to be suitable for everywhere they’re applying to. It also needs to show who they are outside of their predicted grades. Get them to think about their hobbies, work experience or volunteering they’ve done and any part time jobs they may have. We’ve got a great video which talks students through how to plan, start, structure and end your personal statement.
  4. Remember deadlines! Those wanting to go to Oxford or Cambridge, or those studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine, need to submit their UCAS application by October 15. For most students the deadline is January 15, but some art and design courses have a later deadline of March 24. Anyone who applies after June 30 will automatically be placed into Clearing.

We have lots of different resources on our website ucas.com which can help guide them through the process of filling in the application.

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